Unilateral actions that violate UN Security Council Resolutions on Varosha are unacceptable, Russian President Vladimir Putin has told President Nicos Anastasiades, the Cyprus presidency said on Monday.

It said that replying to a letter Anastasiades had sent his Russian counterpart last May after the informal summit on Cyprus in April, Putin said that the Russian Federation consistently supports a solution to the Cyprus problem, “within the well-known framework of international law set by the Security Council resolutions, and provides for a solution of a bi-zonal bi-communal federation with a single international legal personality, sovereignty and citizenship.”

Putin also reiterated Russia’s position on the “need for all five permanent members of the UN Security Council to be involved in the discussion of the external aspects of the solution and replace the existing anachronistic system of guarantees with UN guarantees,” the presidency statement said.

The Russian president also said that unilateral actions in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 550 and 789 were unacceptable.

He also stressed that Russia would promote, both at the UN level and in its bilateral contacts, the creation of favourable external conditions, with the aim of making progress in resolving the Cyprus issue through negotiations.

Putin also expressed gratitude to Anastasiades for the dialogue between the two countries on various issues of international and regional agenda, including the situation in Cyprus, but also the Cypriot-Russian cooperation.

The Turkish Cypriot leadership announced last month the demilitarisation and opening of a small part of the fenced area of Varosha (3.5 per cent) for settlement calling on refugees to file their claims for return through the immovable property commission (IPC). The government and the National Council advised against such a move believing it was a trap aimed at furthering Turkey’s goals as regards the Cyprus problem. The IPC was set up by Turkey in the north as a domestic remedy to deal with Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied areas.

Part of the fenced area of Varosha, mainly on the coastal front, was opened to visitors last October. These moves were condemned by the government, the EU the UN, and several countries with calls for reversal of these actions.

Though UN Security Council resolutions 550 (1984) and 789 (1992) stipulate that any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants is inadmissible and call on the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN, the fenced area of the once coastal resort that has been sitting empty since 1974 when its residents fled during the Turkish invasion, is under the control of the Turkish military.